Skate Culture

The Unique Rob Roskopp Face Deck and its Epic History

The Iconic Rob Roskopp Face Deck

The Roskopp Face Deck is one of the most iconic skateboard decks of the 1980s.

Over the years it has been reimagined with various colours and designed which is one of the things I love about skate art – it seems like you’ve never seen it all. 

Somehow, somewhere, a colorway comes to light that you’ve never seen or had forgotten about, or even an entire board graphic. 

Never mind that, it can even just be the colors of the plastics, wheels, trucks, etc. and how they combine with the deck — and even the grip art.

Rob Roskopp Face Deck
Rob Roskopp Face Deck

Who is Rob Roskopp?

Born in 1963, Rob Roskopp is a pro skater who went on to feature in multiple Skating films. While at university in the early 90s, he also worked part-time for Santa Cruz Skateboards and eventually became the co-founder of Santa Cruz Bicyces with Rick Novak.

In 1983, at the age of 20, Rob Roskopp was sponsored as pro skater by Independent Trucks and is now renowned for carving with his iconic 80s signature deck now known at the Rob Roskopp Face Deck, issued by Santa Cruz and designed by Jim Phillips.

Rob Roskopp Face Deck For Sale

I wanted to share one board that sold on eBay that I was taken with for some of these reasons.
One of the aspects I used to really appreciate on a number of older online skate sites was their “eBay watch” feature. I’m not even sure anyone is doing these anymore. 

Maybe things have moved far enough along beyond the initial collecting craze — when these things were just starting to come out of our adolescent garages and closets — that there’s less value in those kind of watches and searches now? 

Do other collector forums now better fill that function? 

Certainly from a collector point of view there are plenty of options today, arguably better and certainly more interactive one’s, though I do believe eBay still presents the possibility of finding something that hasn’t been through the ringer of the usual collector circuits; in that regard it yet presents the possibility of ‘the find.’

Check it out:

One of the great characteristics of this particular board is the bright colorways that were so indicative of that period.

This particular board has a number of these qualities; its teal blue Rob Roskopp ‘Face’ deck from Santa Cruz.

What does it for me is that this color is absolutely typical for the 80’s — on a graphic is arguably one of the most iconic of the 1980’s as well.

What’s more, the board art really pops. 

For my part, I believe that the one’s that do are the ones the utilize a mixture of complimentary colors and color opposites.

In this case, the opposites are found in the teal blue dip contrasted against the light reds and pinks of the mouth and around the eyes. The complimentarity is found between the blue and the dark yellow wheels.  Speaking of the wheels, they OJ II’s; take a closer look:

Rob Roskopp Face Deck Trucks

Apparently the owner put on some new bearings and also re-gripped the board. Might be a no-no for some, but I’ll have to say that the grip tape they chose is perfectly suited to the board, making it look like a period bit of custom grip art:

Rob Roskopp Face Skateboard Grip

It also comes with some classic skateboard sticker action:

Rob Roskopp Face Deck Skate Stickers

A nice piece of skate history here. I was tempted to bid on it myself but fortunately for the lucky winner of the auction, I didn’t.

(FYI it sold for $426.00 USD on 13 bids, which I would say is about right for a complete in this sort of used condition.

The stickers can give a whole new spin on a deck, ripping you in a flash out of the 21st century and right back into the late 20th.

I have a particular interest in used completes that look like they were set down in a garage or room in the 1980’s and then forgotten about and not picked up again until now.

This leaves them in a state that is both frozen in time on the one hand and yet also looking like someone could have just skated them yesterday on the other.

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